Daily Archives: April 1, 2009

Coal debate planned Thursday in both chambers

TOPEKA – Kansas lawmakers plan to leave for their annual three-week spring break Friday.

First, however, they’ll mount one more attempt to resurrect two coal plants rejected by Gov. Kathleen Sebelius.

Both the House and Senate expect to take up the contentious issue Thursday.

The legislation would eliminate the discretionary power a state regulator used to reject the plants in 2007. State Health and Environment Secretary Rod Bremby cited carbon emissions in his refusal to grant a permit to Sunflower Electric Power Corp. to build two coal-fired plants in Western Kansas.

Read More »

Three distinctive license plate options sent to the governor for final approval

TOPEKA – Kansans could soon have three more ways show their identity via their cars’ license plates.

A negotiated version of Senate Bill 2134 passed the House, 86-38, on Wednesday.

The proposal, which had previously received approval from the Senate creates two new distinctive license plates, “In God We Trust” and “Support Kansas Arts” and expands who is eligible for a disabled veterans plate.

The Kansas Arts Commission will design the plate which will be available Jan. 1 and will can be purchased for a royalty fee of $25 to $100. Money from the royalty fee will go to the Kansas Arts Commission Special Gifts Fund.

The “In God We Trust” plate will cost $40 per person and the Division of Vehicles will not start producing the plate until 1,000 or more orders have been placed and paid for.

The agreement also alters the definition of who qualifies as a disabled veteran from a veteran who is being compensated for a 100 percent disability to one who is being compensated for a 50 percent disability. That determination would be made by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

The measure now goes to the governor’s desk.

Why might Wichita be an All-American City?

all-american city logoWe’ve noticed a few questions about how Wichita is a finalist for the All-American Cities award.

Read on to see the city’s application, which includes detailed descriptions of the projects that were picked.  (Some personal contact information has been removed.  And some fonts and characters have been slightly scrambled in conversion.) Read More »

Senate oversight of lieutenant governor appointees fails as an amendment

TOPEKA – An attempt to have the Senate confirm future lieutenant governor appointees failed on a tie vote in the chamber on Wednesday.

The amendment, proposed by Sen. Dennis Pyle, R-Hiawatha, was an attempt to provide more oversight to the state’s second-in-command, he said.

“The new governor can make his appointment. We should be able to look under the rock and check the qualifications,” Pyle said.

The effort is particularly timely. Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, a Democrat, is undergoing confirmation hearings to be head of Health and Human Services with President Barack Obama’s administration.

If she is confirmed, Lt. Gov. Mark Parkinson would become governor and then nominate his successor. When that might happen is uncertain, as is who Parkinson might pick to fill his seat.

Read More »

Legislative public forum set for April 25 in Wichita

The final public forum for the south central delegation is set for April 25, shortly before lawmakers return to Topeka for a wrap-up session.

The meeting, which is free and open to the public, will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. at the City of Wichita Water Center, 101 E. Pawnee. Lawmakers from the area will be on hand to discuss the session, which is scheduled for first adjournment by Saturday.

Legislators will return to the Capitol on April 29 for a veto session.